Beauty standards defined by society, cultures around the world and social media make it difficult for us, women, to believe that we are all beautiful, regardless of our weight, height, and morphology.
Body confidence and high self-esteem are yet necessary to live a fulfilling life and have the courage to pursue our dreams.
Learn how to boost body confidence from now on!
The importance of body confidence
Low self-esteem and poor body image have the power to negatively impact our mental health, as well as our daily, professional and relational lives.
In my case, I always had a “common” body, in that I’ve never been overweight or underweight. In theory, I have nothing to complain about, I know.
However, this didn’t prevent me to think many times in my lifetime that my physique wasn’t good enough.
“I don’t like my breast”, “If only I had abs” or “Why is all my fat going to my calves?!” are part of the things I told myself or others, to the point of actually disliking some of my body parts.
So no, even if gaining or losing weight can help in the process of self-love, body confidence has nothing to do with our physique, but rather with our mindset.
Which means that regardless of your morphology, BMI, height, weight, YOU are capable of feeling confident, trust me.
Here are some tips that helped me gain confidence throughout the years and feel proud of who I am today.
1. Be kind to yourself
You are the person you will spend the most time with, make sure you are kind to yourself!
How you talk to yourself has a massive impact on how you feel; telling yourself you are ugly, fat or that you won’t ever look like x or y will only convince you so.
What about trying positive affirmations? Telling yourself “I am beautiful”, “I am unique” or “I love my body” won’t make you become an egocentric person.
On the contrary, it will help you improve your body image.
Talk to yourself as you would talk to your best friend; would you tell her she doesn’t look good?!
2. Focus on what you love
If it results difficult for you to love every part of your body, start by focusing on the features you like by embracing them and associating them with positive affirmations.
Focusing on your qualities and what you love about yourself will help you forget what you are not so confident about and feel way more positive overall.
3. Surround yourself with supportive people
Just as the way you talk to yourself influences how you perceive your body, people who you surround yourself with daily have a direct impact on your wellbeing.
It is really simple; surround yourself with people who love you just as you are and who won’t ever try to convince you you should look different.
Every single person making you doubt yourself does not deserve to be in your life. Period.
4. Limit social media consumption
If you saw my article on the impacts of social media on mental health, you would know that social media made me question the way I look for way too long.
Social media is full of people showing their amazing physiques, which makes us unconsciously compare ourselves to them and not feel good enough.
What you need to know is that what you see on Instagram is not a fair representation of reality.
Not only do these perfect looking people represent only a very small part of the population.
They also know how to pose, how to use lighting to their advantage or even worse, have indeed a beautiful physique, but at the expense of their mental health.
And all of this don’t even include photoshopped and filter-added pictures.
My biggest advice here is to limit your time spent scrolling through social media and to reconsider who you are following and why.
Unfollow people who have a negative impact on your self-esteem and keep people who inspire you to love yourself and become the best version of yourself.
I will always try my best to show authenticity through social media; who I really am mentally and physically, regarding if I’m having a good or a bad day, so you can feel free to be yourself too.
5. Look around you
This step goes hand in hand with the previous one.
As silly as it might sound, paying attention to what women look like around me has been making me feel better about myself.
You won’t see perfect people in real life which will make you realize what a normal body actually looks like.
What you consider as imperfections is what makes you a unique person.
From another point of view, looking at people around you will make you notice that confident people do not belong to any body type/shape/height/weight.
Again, loving yourself does not come from your physical traits.
6. Consider your physical capacities
Instead of emphasizing how you look like, think about everything your body serves you for and is capable of doing.
Your legs allow you to stand, your arms enable you to lift and carry weight, your body fat helps growing and protecting a baby and your breasts can feed it.
he female body is incredible and doesn’t deserve any form of judgment.
7. Stop judging people
Judging other people will train you to judge yourself. Criticizing won’t make you feel more beautiful or better about yourself.
Instead, creating impossible beauty standards will make you feel bad about yourself too.
Next time you are tempted to make a snarky comment on someone, try to say something positive about them instead.
Not only will this make you feel nice, but it will also encourage you to find beauty in yourself.
8. Accept compliments
For a very long time, I saw compliments as a form of kindness and politeness.
When someone said something positive about me, I always had to return the compliment to be kind and polite in return.
But reality is, I struggled to associate positive words to myself, due to my lack of confidence.
If you’re like me, stop returning compliments* and simply answer with a “thank you”. Then, appreciate it.
Compliments are rarely fake or ill-intentioned, so good are the chances that you deserve them.
*This does not mean you should never make compliments! Saying nice things about other people will make you feel very good interiorly.
9. Take care of yourself
When lacking body confidence, it is so easy to hide under a sweater and let ourselves go.
If it’s your case, save your sweater for lazy Sundays only!
Learn how to show yourself to your best advantage by finding the type of clothes that fit your body type and the colors that go well to your skin tone.
Take the time to have your nails done, to exfoliate your skin, go to a hairdresser or a beautician if it makes you feel good.
When I feel down about myself, I like to do my hair and makeup, even if I don’t plan on going anywhere.
10. Work on yourself
As I said several times through this article, body confidence doesn’t come from the way you look.
However, being active and looking after your diet will considerably help you feel good in your skin.
In my case, going to the gym made me realize what my body is capable of doing, but also helped me build my physique through bodybuilding and nutrition, which improved my confidence.
Fitness is an excellent way to feel better physically and mentally, but not the only one. Find something YOU enjoy and makes you feel good!
There they are, my 10 pieces of advice on how to improve your body image.
Never ever forget that everything you are makes you a special and unique human being (how boring would it be if we all looked the same).
Please, please, PLEASE don’t try to look like these models you see on Instagram because you will never look like them.
Instead, work on being the best version of yourself, you won’t fail at this!
And you, what do you do to feel confident in your skin? Leave them in the comments!